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Opinion

Bigotry and ignorance dangerous for everyone

Tracey Pollock

April 23, 2009

Generally I like to take the time for my columns to write about issues that I feel are generally not talked about or are over looked.  This week though, I would like to address the two recent columns that have been written about gay marriage. 

I would like to thank Nathan Sparks for taking a stand for gay rights (among other things mentioned in the column) and recognizing how huge of a deal it is that states are finally legalizing gay marriage. As a student who is involved in student orgs, activism and been to protests it is nice to know that people who are not involved in all the activities me and fellow students and activists are involved in, still care about important issues like gay rights. 

I don’t understand why people are so scared of the idea of gay marriage. Sparks is so right when he said that the gay community is just the new target of the United States bigotry that has been a prevalent part of our society since the constitution was written. 

Which, since it seems to be so popular to mention the Constitution in the articles about the marriage topic, I would just like make a quick mention that the quote Shawna Carpentier used in her column: “they are endowed by their Creator [God] with certain unalienable Rights’” does not come from the Constitution, but the Declaration of Independence. 

I have a really hard time finding any credibility in what Carpentier says about the Constitution if she doesn’t understand that these are two separate documents. There are so many more things I could say about errors in Carpentier’s article, but what I find really disturbing is the outright bigotry and hatred that she is spouting. Carpentier talks about protecting the sanctity of marriage from same sex couples as if they are total degenerates that only want to destroy it. 

First to address the current “sanctity” of marriage: What about the drive thru wedding chapels in Vegas? What about the ridiculously high divorce rate? What about the fact that men who continuously beat their wives can still have full access to marriage under the law, only to have the chance to abuse a new wife? Seems to me that people in the heterosexual community have all but destroyed the sanctity of marriage.

I have a hard time believing that there is still some divine sanctity associated with marriage as a gift from a heterosexist god given these examples, and there are so many more. 

I do think that marriage to the majority of people is a very special thing, gay or straight, and people should be allowed to enjoy this special union, or make frivolous mistakes like the straight community has for so many years. The argument of “what’s next bestiality?” is so bad. 

Really?

Associating gay marriage with having sex with animals? That’s such a disgusting, ignorant viewpoint, completely taking away any dignity that the gay community has. 

Gay marriage is a matter of civil and legal rights. I’m pretty sure that people in the gay community just want the same legal rights of marriage that heterosexual couples get, and not to be viewed as second class citizens and targets of discrimination. 

Lastly on the argument of being gay as a choice, I will not pretend like I know the answer, as I am not a genetic scientist. However, I would like to point to one example that I think shows there is not much choice involved in sexual preference. 

You may recall Ted Haggard, the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals (with over 30 million members in the U.S.), who preached the immorality of homosexuality and was married with five children. In 2006, about 20 years after starting a church in Colorado Springs, Colo., Haggard admitted to having sex with a male prostitute (and doing meth with him). This shows that no matter how entrenched one is in the homophobic community or how much they preach the immorality of homosexuals, they still are gay. 

Tracey Pollock is an alumna of UW-River Falls.